Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

Gilbert R. Parra

Committee Member

Katherine Kitzmann

Committee Member

Natalie Williams

Committee Member

Wonsuk Yoo


Research consistently indicates that exposure to a range of early family risk factors is associated with compromised social and emotional functioning in early childhood, but less is known about configurations of multiple risk factors within families. The present study investigated a range of risk factors representing family structure (marital status, child's father in the home), sociodemographic context (maternal age, household income, maternal education, and insurance status), and maternal psychosocial functioning (maternal postnatal depression and prenatal physical and psychological relationship conflict) from a person-centered approach in a diverse, urban sample of 819 mothers. Latent variable mixture modeling was used to identify subgroups of families with similar profiles across the risk factors, a seven class solution emerged as statistically and conceptually supported. In addition to larger SESOnly Risk (30%) and Low Risk (31%) classes, a Cohabitating Middle Income (13%) class emerged, as well as a class of Single Mothers (6%), a class characterized by low SESand physical conflict (Low SES-Physical Conflict; 11%), and a low SESclass characterized by very elevated postnatal depression (Low SES-Depressed; 4%). When socioemotional functioning at 12 and 24 months was compared between classes, results indicated that the Low SES-Depressed class was at high risk for elevated ratings across domains and time points, and the Low SES-Physical Conflict, SESOnly, and Cohabitating Middle classes were also at more moderate increased risk with differential links to different BITSEAdomains. For example, the SES Only class was at elevated risk across domains at 12 months, and particular risk for Internalizing difficulties at 24 months, whereas the Low SES-Physical Conflict class was at significant risk for Externalizing difficulties at 24 months. The Cohabitating Middle class was at increased risk for Internalizing difficulties at 12 months only. These results are discussed in the context of early family development with a discussion of clinical and prevention-based implications.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.